|Publication number||US6691507 B1|
|Application number||US 09/690,106|
|Publication date||Feb 17, 2004|
|Filing date||Oct 16, 2000|
|Priority date||Oct 16, 2000|
|Publication number||09690106, 690106, US 6691507 B1, US 6691507B1, US-B1-6691507, US6691507 B1, US6691507B1|
|Inventors||Garth Michael Meyer, Joseph Richard Asik|
|Original Assignee||Ford Global Technologies, Llc|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (140), Non-Patent Citations (7), Referenced by (21), Classifications (29), Legal Events (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention relates to arrangements for restoring storage capacity of a vehicle emission control device.
Generally, lean burn engines in vehicles generate tailpipe NOx when operating in a normal lean burn cycle, i.e., operating the engine with an air-fuel ratio (AFR) leaner than stoichiometric. Vehicle exhaust treatment systems utilize a three-way catalyst (TWC), referred to as an emission control device or lean Nox trap, positioned in an exhaust passage to store and release constituent gases such as NOx depending on engine operating conditions.
More specifically, storage capacity of such emission control devices is limited. As a result, stored gas is released by periodically operating the engine in a rich AFR cycle. In addition, various factors such as the type of fuel and overall aging of the emission control device act to reduce original storage capacity.
Generally, storage capacity of the emission control device can be potentially restored by periodically operating the engine in such a manner as to raise the temperature of the exhaust to a predetermined temperature range. As part of this process, the AFR must be controlled to properly sustain the desired temperature range. As a consequence, a need exists for an arrangement capable of accurately controlling temperature within an emission control device when attempting to restore storage capacity.
Therefore, it is an object of the present invention to provide a temperature control system and method which utilizes a closed-loop arrangement to dynamically generate an estimate for temperature within an emission control device to produce an AFR correction factor which will maintain the temperature within a desired range.
In accordance with a first aspect of the present invention, a system is provided for controlling the temperature within an emission control device, the emission control device having a catalyst bed for reducing emission of a constituent gas in an exhaust system of an engine, wherein the system includes a first temperature sensor connected to the emission control device to generate an output representative of temperature within the emission control device, and a control processor coupled to a fuel control subsystem and arranged to estimate actual temperature within the catalyst bed based on the output of the first temperature sensor. The control processor is further arranged to compare the estimated emission control device temperature with a desired temperature, and control the air-fuel ratio as a function of the comparison to control the temperature within the emission control device.
In accordance with a second aspect of the present invention, a method is provided for controlling the temperature within an emission control device, the emission control device having a catalyst bed for reducing emission of a constituent gas in an exhaust system of an engine, wherein the method includes measuring the temperature of exhaust gases flowing through the emission control device, and determining an estimate of actual temperature at the catalyst bed based on the output of the temperature measurement. The estimated emission control device temperature is then compared with a desired temperature, and an air-fuel ratio of the exhaust gases is modified based on the temperature comparison to control the temperature within the emission control device.
In a preferred embodiment, the first temperature sensor is positioned at a midbrick location in the emission control device to provide a direct and accurate measurement of temperature within the device. In addition, the inlet temperature can be either directly measured or estimated from a temperature model as a function of monitored engine operating conditions.
Thus, because the present invention provides continual and accurate monitoring of the temperature in the emission control device along with corresponding AFR adjustments, the present invention assures accurate temperature control to minimize the possibility of damage to the emission control device due to excessive lean AFR when the device is hot, while also maximizing the potential for restoring storage capacity with a rich AFR when the trap is at a desired temperature. Accordingly, improvement is attained in the efficiency of the overall operation of the lean burn exhaust treatment system.
The above object and other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention are readily apparent from the following detailed description of the best mode for carrying out the invention when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings.
FIG. 1 is a block diagram of an engine exhaust and after-treatment system for a lean burn engine in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a block diagram illustrating closed-loop control of temperature of an emission control device during an attempt to restore storage capacity of the emission control device, such as a desulfation process, using a direct inlet temperature measurement;
FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating closed-loop control of temperature of an emission control device during an attempt to restore storage capacity of the emission control device, such as a desulfation process, using a model based estimate of inlet temperature;
FIGS. 4a-c are graphs comparing asymmetric AFR modulation, spark advance, and torque during desulfation;
FIG. 5 is a block diagram illustrating closed-loop control of temperature of an emission control device during an attempt to restore storage capacity of the emission control device, such as a desulfation process, in accordance with another embodiment using feedback spark control; and
FIGS. 6a and 6 b are flowcharts showing the process for estimating actual temperature in accordance with the present invention.
FIG. 1 provides a block diagram illustrating a lean burn engine exhaust and after-treatment system 10 in accordance with the present invention. System 10 includes an engine 12 having a conventional exhaust manifold 14 coupled thereto, and at least one emission control device 18 positioned within an exhaust passage. A second emission control device 16 can also be coupled to the exhaust system. While a four cylinder engine is shown, such an engine configuration is not to be construed as limiting.
At least one fuel injector 22 delivers fuel to the engine 12 during operation thereof. While four such injectors are shown, this too is not to be construed as limiting. A powertrain control module (PCM) 24 includes a CPU, RAM, and ROM programmed to control operation of the fuel injector(s) 22 in accordance with any conventional fuel control algorithm strategy such as proportional integral (PI) with jump and ramp, proportional integral differential (PID), or equivalent thereof.
A first oxygen sensor 28 is coupled to the exhaust manifold 14, and a second oxygen sensor 30 is coupled to a section of exhaust pipe 20 upstream of emission control device 18. Sensors 28 and 30 provide signals to PCM 24 for controlling the AFR of the engine exhaust during normal operation of engine 12, such as during the stoichiometric phase of a lean burn operation. In addition, these sensors are also typically used in conjunction with on-board diagnostics (OBD) relating to emission control device efficiency. As discussed in more detail below, the closed-loop temperature and AFR control system of the present invention further includes a third oxygen sensor 32 coupled to emission control device 18 for controlling the AFR during gas storing and releasing cycles. Sensors 28, 30, and 32 can be implemented in any suitable form, such as a heated exhaust gas oxygen (HEGO) type sensor, an exhaust gas oxygen (EGO) type sensor, or a linear type sensor such as a universal exhaust gas oxygen (UEGO) sensor.
In addition to the oxygen senors, a temperature sensor 34 is positioned within emission control device 18 to provide a signal representative of a temperature T2 within the device. Senor 34 is preferably positioned in the middle of the emission control device, i.e., a “midbrick” location, to improve measurement accuracy for PCM 24. A second temperature sensor 36 can be coupled to the inlet of emission control device 18 so as to provide a measured value for inlet temperature T1 as described below in connection with the embodiment of FIG. 2. The temperature sensors can be implemented as platinum resistive temperature devices (RTD). Air is input to the engine through an intake manifold 38 under control of a throttle 40. An airmeter 42 provides a signal to PCM 24 as is well understood to one of ordinary skill in the art.
In addition to the single pipe exhaust design shown in FIG. 1, the present invention is equally applicable to split exhaust type systems. More specifically, a split exhaust design utilizes two separate exhaust manifolds that are merged together into a single exhaust pipe for input into emission control device 18. Each exhaust leg includes a separate exhaust manifold oxygen sensor for non-lean burn operation.
As described above, constituent gas, such as NOx, is stored in the emission control during a lean AFR cycle, and is released from the emission control device during a rich or stoichiometric AFR cycle. A lean cycle is typically 60 seconds in length, while a rich cycle is typically 1-2 seconds in length. T1 corresponds to an emission control device input temperature while T2 corresponds to a temperature at the center of the device. T3 is used to designate the output of midbrick temperature sensor 34. The PCM accepts inputs from the airmeter, engine speed/position, oxygen sensors and temperature sensor(s) as well as other inputs not described. The PCM calculates the desired fuel injection quantity and timing for the various engine operating modes.
Periodically, an attempt is made to restore storage capacity of the emission control device. More specifically, the PCM is arranged to maintain a slightly rich AFR, such as a value equal to 0.97 stoichiometry, after the midbed temperature has been raised to a predetermined temperature or temperature range for a predetermined period of time, such as approximately four minutes. As described below, one embodiment of the present invention uses a sequential AFR modulation control arrangement based on alternating sequences of rich and lean fuel pulses, to produce an exotherm to raise the temperature within the emission control device. However, the present invention can be tailored for use with other AFR control arrangements such as employed in a split exhaust pipe configuration described in commonly-owned U.S. Pat. No. 5,758,493. In either arrangement, the PCM is arranged to maintain the overall AFR of the exhaust gases at a slightly rich level to effect restoration of storage capacity. For example, such restoration results in release or “desorbing” of SOx stored in the emission control device.
FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrate two embodiments respectively for closed-loop control of the temperature within the emission control device during such capacity restoration process. The two figures are similar except that in FIG. 2 sensor 36 provides a direct measurement of temperature T1, while in FIG. 3, an exhaust temperature model provides a model based estimate T1* for actual temperature T1. To control the emission control device temperature, a rich fuel pulse multiplier Rmul, and a lean fuel pulse multiplier Lmul are adjusted as needed to produce the desired temperature.
FIGS. 4a-c show the relationship of Rmul and Lmul on a time axis for an exemplary AFR control arrangement. Individual injection events are shown in accordance with a sequence of four rich events followed by twelve lean events to provide a commensurate relationship to the number of engine cylinders for a four-cylinder engine described in connection with FIG. 1. Such an AFR control arrangement is important for the transient spark compensation described below. FIGS. 4a-c show one complete period which is then repeated continuously during the capacity restoration event. Increasing Rmul and decreasing Lmul increases the emission control device temperature. Asymmetric modulation, e.g., Rmul=3*(1−Lmul), is preferably applied to minimize any excessive lean AFR excursion and possible misfire.
Referring now to FIG. 2, an initial value is obtained at block 100 from a lookup table or function S1 as a function of engine speed N and load LD. S1(N, LD) represents a coarse sensitivity function that generates Rmul
In accordance with the present invention, Rmul
The estimated peak temperature T2* is compared with the target temperature TT at block 108 to generate a temperature error ΔT2*. A fine sensitivity function subroutine S2(N, LD) is arranged to generate a value S2=δRmul/δT as a function of engine speed N and load LD. S2 is multiplied by ΔT2* at block 110 to generate the value for Rmul
The value Rmul
An evaluation can be performed to determine the subroutine output which is best likely to limit engine roughness. The selected subroutine output is used at block 116 as the final value for Rmul, i.e., Rmul
As noted above, FIG. 3 shows a control system essentially identical to FIG. 2 except that an exhaust temperature model is used as indicated at block 200 to generate an estimate T1* for actual emission control device inlet temperature T1. Thus, T1* and T3 are provided as inputs to subroutine S3(T1, T3). In addition, T1* is used at block 102 to generate the value for ΔT1. A suitable exhaust temperature model arrangement is disclosed in commonly-owned U.S. Pat. No. 5,414,994, and herein incorporated by reference. The exhaust temperature model is arranged to generate T1* as a function of engine speed N, engine load LD, EGR, spark advance, and engine temperature, and can be calibrated to estimate exhaust temperature at a desired location in the exhaust system. T2* is also compared to the target temperature TT at block 108.
A third embodiment of the present invention will now be described in connection with FIG. 5. As shown in FIG. 4b, a spark advance control strategy is associated with the AFR modulation strategy of FIG. 4a to produce the engine torque shown in FIG. 4c. The third embodiment of the present invention coordinates the spark advance strategy with the AFR modulation strategy to ensure that minimal variations in engine torque occur during the storage capacity restoration process.
More specifically, this embodiment utilizes retard from normal maximum brake torque (MBT) spark advance (shown as the left-most dashed line in FIG. 4(b)) during the four rich cylinder events. After the rich to lean transition, spark advance is gradually ramped instead of stepped to normal MBT lean spark (shown as the right-most dashed line). This procedure provides spark compensation to offset the effect of fuel lag caused by engine intake wall wetting and assists in equalizing individual cylinder torque. Because of the commensurate relationship between fueling events (4 rich/12 lean) and the number of engine cylinders (4), a deterministic relationship between transient spark strategy and cylinder fuel injection strategy are established as shown.
Torque variations are further reduced by monitoring the differences in rotational event times for each grouping of injection events, i.e., rich, first lean, second lean, and third lean groups. As shown in FIG. 5, a spark adder 300 is used at block 302 to continuously adjust the spark advance to provide minimal differences in event times among these groups. FIGS. 4(a-c) show the implementation of the total event time for a given AFR grouping of injection events. Control of spark advance and retard are graphically represented by a control connection to a set of spark plugs 304 in combination with a set of intake valves 306 and exhaust valves 308. The spark adder and control strategy as described can be implemented by suitably adapting or programming known control arrangements.
Referring now to FIGS. 6a and 6 b, a flowchart is provided to more specifically illustrate operation of the S3 temperature estimator and closed loop control and correction process for Rmul in accordance with the present invention. As indicated at block 400, the estimation process begins by determining the change in temperature sensor output measurement per unit time for sensors 36 and 34 (for the embodiment of FIG. 2), or the estimated temperature T1* and sensor 34 (for the embodiments of FIGS. 3 and 5). This change is determined based on the difference between a current temperature value sample and the most recent prior sampled value, and dividing by the period of time (TMR) between the two samplings. This process is expressed as follows:
Then, at block 402, the T1 and T3 measurements from block 400 are filtered to remove noise using a rolling average expressed as follows:
T1fil=ROLAV(T1fil, T1dIdT, RTD_TC); and
T3fil=ROLAV(T3fil, T3dIdT, RTD_TC).
The filtered values for T1 and T3 are then compensated for sensor lag at block 404 by projecting the change in temperature based on the slope for the time constant used to determine the filtered values. This process is expressed as:
The inlet and midbrick gap temperatures are then estimated at block 406 by adding together the current temperature sample and the projected change in temperature as follows:
The next phase of the process is to estimate emission control device exotherm and maximum temperature expected from Rmul. More specifically, as denoted at block 408, the desired emission control device exotherm is estimated from the table values for Rmul and the coarse S1 value ΔRmul/ΔT, and is expressed as follows:
The desired value for exotherm is then filtered at block 410 to estimate temperature rise due to Rmul. The filtering process is a rolling average using a predetermined time constant, and is expressed as follows:
EXOEST=ROLAV (EXOEST, EXOdes, EXO_TC).
At block 412, the estimated value for temperature T2* is generated by adding the estimated exotherm temperature rise to the projected inlet temperature as follows:
The next portion of the process integrates projected midbed and estimated maximum temperatures. As denoted at block 414, an estimated temperature error is generated by determining the difference between midbed temperature projection and the expected exotherm as follows:
This value is then filtered at block 416 using a rolling average and predetermined time constant, and is expressed as:
LNT_err_fil=ROLAV(LNT_err_fil, LNT_est_err, T2*TC).
The measured value T3 is then offset by a value representative of the temperature difference between the estimated location within the emission control device for T2 and the actual location of sensor 34, and the offset T3 value and the estimated value T2* are filtered at block 418. The filtering process is expressed as:
As the temperature error goes to zero, LNT_MAX_C approaches LNT_MID_C+Toffset.
The next portion of the process determines proportional and integrated corrections for Rmul. As denoted at block 420, a total RMUL error correction is determined using an S2 value for fine sensitivity at the target emission control device temperature T2, and is expressed as follows:
Then, at block 422, a gain value is used to determine a proportional correction value Rmul
At block 424, a rolling average is used in combination with a predetermined time constant to determine an integral error correction value Rmul
The final portion of the process determines the value for Rmul
Finally, this value is limited at block 430 to produce combustion stability as follows:
It is noted that the present invention is equally applicable to other control arrangements and exhaust system configurations. For example, in applying the control strategy of the present invention to a split exhaust arrangement, the span of AFR, i.e., the difference in AFR between the set of lean cylinders and the set of rich cylinders (AFRspan=AFRlean−AFRrich), is used as the basic control parameter to control heating and exotherm generation in the emission control device.
Therefore, use of the closed-loop temperature control arrangement of the present invention advantageously ensures that the temperature generated in the emission control device during an attempt to restore storage capacity is tightly controlled. Since a vehicle is normally operated across a range of different conditions, such as vehicle accelerations, steady cruises, and decelerations, the control system of the present invention will precisely and dynamically control the temperature within the emission control device to maintain the desired temperature or temperature range. For example, the present control arrangement can prevent temperatures from both exceeding 700° C. and falling below 600° C.
While embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described, it is not intended that these embodiments illustrate and describe all possible forms of the invention. Rather, the words used in the specification are words of description rather than limitation, and it is understood that various changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
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|U.S. Classification||60/285, 60/300, 60/274|
|International Classification||F02D41/02, F01N11/00, F02D41/34, F02D37/02, F02D41/14, F02D41/00|
|Cooperative Classification||F02D41/024, F02D41/1446, Y02T10/26, F01N11/007, F02D2200/0802, F01N2430/08, F01N11/002, F02D37/02, F02D41/028, F02D41/008, F02D41/025, F02D2200/0804, F02D41/1408, F01N2430/06, Y02T10/47|
|European Classification||F01N11/00C, F02D41/02C4B4, F02D37/02, F01N11/00B, F02D41/02C4B|
|Feb 5, 2001||AS||Assignment|
|Apr 22, 2003||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: FORD GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES, LLC,MICHIGAN
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:FORD GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES, INC.;REEL/FRAME:013987/0838
Effective date: 20030301
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